“I appreciate the support of the UNITY board and plan to announce, as early as next week, specific proposals to reform UNITY to make it more efficient, cost effective, and responsive to its alliance members and partners,” Steinberg said.
The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) released their Newsroom Employment Census, an annual report that delivers data on those employed in the News Industry. Though total newsroom employment has decreased, overall newsroom diversity has remained stagnant. Although it may seem as though minority employees are faring well enough in the news industry, what these numbers show is that newsrooms in the United States continue to fail to reflect the diversity of the United States as a nation.
In 2012, of the 38,000 people employed in newsrooms, about 4,700 (12.37 percent) of those were racial minorities. The percentage of minority employees has remained between 12 and 13 percent for the last 10 years. According to the latest U.S. Census, the United States is now 37 percent minority.
We learned last night that Tom Arviso Jr. has resigned as UNITY President due to personal reasons. We want thank Tom for his service. The four alliance presidents are engaged with acting president Doris Troung on UNITY's next steps. The leaders of AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA are committed to UNITY's mission and are hopeful in finding a resolution that will ensure its success.
Paul Cheung, AAJA President
Hugo Balta, NAHJ President
Rhonda LeValdo-Gayton, NAJA President
Jen Christensen, NLGJA President
McLean, VA- A $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation will enable UNITY to continue opportunities for entrepreneurial journalists of color, gay journalists and other underserved populations through the New U: News Entrepreneurs Working through UNITY project. The two-year grant will allow UNITY to expand the business training, mentoring, tutorials, boot camps and resources - including start-up funds - that UNITY has delivered for the past three years to support the launch of media related businesses with a social impact.
The New U project will be administered by UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc., (formerly UNITY: Journalists of Color), an alliance of Asian, Hispanic, Native American and LGBT journalists.
The New U project will provide training at the conventions of UNITY alliance partners and other journalism associations this summer. Training will include modules designed to build and/or improve skills on business plan writing, marketing, presentation, market research and analysis, networking, budgeting, and branding. This year's program will offer several low-fee based programs to grow the number of participating journalists, and include a competition for two $20,000 start-up seed grants to be awarded to the best ideas for innovative projects selected by a panel of judges and an online vote by other journalists this fall.
New U was first funded by the Ford foundation in 2010 to help increase the number of diverse, innovative idea-makers by providing them a platform on which to advance ideas. It is a project driven by committed volunteer mentors, speakers and motivated, competitive participants. New U acts as a conduit for access to development capital and a network of like-minded people, creating the opportunity for entrepreneurial journalists to succeed in new ways.
"The partnership that UNITY and The Ford Foundation have established through the New U project is one that we can all be proud of," said Tom Arviso, UNITY President. "It allows a fair opportunities for fledgling entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and models, then present them to the rest of us. It's amazing and fun to see what these brilliant minds can come up with. New U offers great training and instruction from seasoned professionals and rewards those individuals who are willing to think seriously and work hard."
New U directors are Doug Mitchell, founder/creator and project manager of NPR's "next generation radio," and Alli Joseph, a producer, journalist and entrepreneur. "Doug and I are pleased we're able to serve a greater number of journalists who see a different future for themselves in charge of their own entrepreneurial destiny," said Joseph. Added Mitchell, "We've found some great people who are eager to get the tools and understanding needed to build their own companies. We are fortunate that Ford has seen this trend and consistently funded this program to help our Fellows grow."
Information and dates for New U will be distributed through UNITY and alliance partner websites, newsletters and other member communication outlets in April of 2013.To learn more about New U, please visit: http://unityjournalists.org/category/newu/.
About UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc.
UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about diversity - especially race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation - and aggressively challenging the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity. For more information about UNITY, visit www.unityjournalists.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703) 854-3585.
About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.
Media Contact: Walt Swanston, Interim Executive Director., UNITY: 703-854-3585; email@example.com.
Cuts to the newspaper industry disproportionately hurt diversity in news coverage and the numbers of journalists of color and other underrepresented groups in newsrooms. UNITY: Journalists for Diversity stands with the Newspaper Association of America in challenging the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission's deal to offer a reduced mailing rate solely to Valassis Direct Mail.
UNITY, representing more than 10,000 journalists of color, is comprised of four national associations: Asian American Journalists Association, National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association.
In addition to planning the largest regular gathering of journalists in the nation, UNITY develops programs and institutional relationships that promote diversity and inclusion in news media.
(703) 854-3586 fax
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